Adairsville to slip on pads at midnight
by David Royal
Jul 31, 2014 | 1968 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Adairsville Tigers will get an early taste of practice under the lights this week.

Head coach Eric Bishop has scheduled the practice to start at midnight today.

“I always thought it was a neat thing to do,” Bishop said. “It’s a spinoff from the Midnight Madness practices they have in basketball.”

He said it also is a good fit at Adairsville because the school has a lot of rich traditions and an appreciation for such things.

It is the second year in a row that Bishop, entering his second year at the helm of the Adairsville football program, has scheduled the event to coincide with the first day pads may be worn on Georgia high school football practice fields.

“The kids have been talking about it since the offseason,” he said. “They have been asking if we’d have it.”

The coach has said the event helps liven up the practice as well as set the tone for the upcoming season.

He noted Adairsville will be kicking off the football season on Aug. 22 — a week earlier than its neighboring Bartow County schools — and the approach underscores just how seriously the Tigers are taking the season.

The Tigers won’t be the only ones at Tiger Stadium, too, since the public may attend. “Because this is the second year for this, we believe we’ll have more people out to watch the Tigers.”

He noted last year rain and lightning showed up at the stadium shortly before midnight and delayed the start and may have cut back on the number of spectators.

Bishop said the spectators at tonight’s practice will see such things as individual position work, group work, inside drills and 7-on-7 play.

“Obviously we’ll cap off the night with some 11-on-11 play, but this will not be in a full-scale scrimmage or game mode,” he said.

The team will gather around 6 p.m. at the field in helmets only to practice some, then eat and rest before getting back up about 11 p.m. for a team meeting.

Bishop expects the team to start practice at 12:01 a.m.

Last year the Tigers held the practice and went on to a very successful season on the gridiron, finishing with a 7-4 record overall and 5-2 in Region 5-AAA, in which it played.

Adairsville was tripped up in the state playoffs by White County, a traditional pigskin power, by a score of 52-28. The Tigers were one of the few teams to light up the scoreboard often against the defensive power.

The Tigers could use a good springboard this season as the new member of Region 6-AAA will open their campaign on Aug. 22 by stepping up a classification to entertain Ridgeland, a member of 7-AAAA.

The Tigers then step up two classifications the following week to play Woodland, a member of Region 7-AAAAA, on Aug. 29.

They take a week off before beginning region play on Sept. 12 against Ringgold, which is coming off a very successful season itself.

Ringgold compiled an 11-3 overall record, 6-1 in Region 5-AAA, that included a deep run in the state playoffs that ended in the semifinal round against Washington County. The Golden Hawks lost in the state championship game to Buford.

The Tigers appear poised for another successful year as they return a number of experienced players.

The Tigers are the first Bartow County team that will see action on the gridiron this season. The other three schools start play on Aug. 29.

Woodland opens its season against Adairsville at Wildcat Stadium.

Cass, which plays in Region 7-AAAAA, and Cartersville, which plays in Region 7-AAAA, open their respective seasons against one another. The two teams will meet at the Cass High football stadium.

Cass plays Coosa from neighboring Floyd County the following week and opens region play Sept. 12 against Forsyth Central.

Cartersville follows its opener with North Cobb in Region 4-AAAAAA on Sept. 5 and North Paulding, also in Region 4-AAAAAA, on Sept. 12. The Canes begin region play on Sept. 26 against Gilmer.

Woodland opens region play on Sept. 5 against Forsyth Central.

Kickoff times are at 7:30 p.m. this season.